Overcoming the Fear of Financials with Mark Butler

How to overcome the fear of financials and use bookkeeping and budgeting for small business financial planning with Mark Butler, founder of Let’s Do the Books.

Mark Butler - Entrepreneur

We have released several episodes recently on the topic of bookkeeping, accounting, and business financial planning – because this is such an important topic and an area that most small business owners struggle with. We simply don’t come to business ownership with the financial skills required for small business ownership. Mark helps his clients take a different approach to bookkeeping that allows them to use the financial data to help plan for the future of their business – not just recording what happened in their business solely for tax purposes. While Mark focuses on online entrepreneurs, free lancers and coaches, the principles he teaches and follows apply to all small businesses.

Mark Butler is the founder of the accounting business Let’s Do the Books as well as the bookkeeper, CFO and confidante to top online entrepreneurs like Brooke Castillo.

Before working in finance, Mark co-founded three online businesses that brought in close to $2 million in total revenue. Today, Mark combines his business savvy with his certification in life coaching to help business owners take control of their finances and work through the shame and anxiety that almost always comes up when dealing with money.

Looking at him now, you’d never expect that he previously founded 3 businesses that brought in $2 million in revenue, but he says he always felt broke. His story is a common tale he hears from his own clients, a business brings in good money, but the entrepreneurs don’t know how to manage the finances.

Overcoming the Fear of Financials with Mark Butler:

  • Please briefly share the story of your early career and launching your first online businesses.
  • Why did you decide to sell your online businesses in 2013?
  • Please share the story of how you learned financial management and got yourself out of debt.
  • What led you to launch Let’s Do the Books? How did you land your first clients?
  • How is not having an accounting background an advantage for you?
  • When did you know you wanted to be your own boss? Who were early entrepreneurial influences?
  • Please introduce your approach to bookkeeping and how it’s different than the traditional approach. How does it support Financial Planning?
    “What most entrepreneurs don’t realize is that they can use their bookkeeping data as a roadmap to help them predict, and even influence, their future revenue!”
  • How does shame and fear around money creates a destructive cycle of self-sabotage that keeps you from making good financial decisions in your business?
  • Why do entrepreneurs struggle with a scarcity mindset toward money?
  • Whey do many entrepreneurs get anxious when they even think about looking at their numbers? “Will it confirm your fears that your business is going to fail? You might not consciously think that, but shame and doubt are always lurking below the surface.”
  • What are some of the most common gaps in people’s knowledge of accounting?
  • How do my personal finances and skills influence my business finances?
  • How do I use bookkeeping to help me plan my business?
  • How do I make financial planning decisions like can I afford a particular business investment?
  • Why do I need to set revenue goals, and how do I plan to reach those goals?
  • What do I do when I realize I’m not hitting my financial targets?
  • Please explain the difference between personal and business debt.
  • “Budgeting is not a tool of restriction, it’s a tool to facilitate spending.”
  • How do I get started with this approach to bookkeeping?

Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.


Books mentioned in this episode:
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Other Podcast Episodes:

Mike Michalowicz, author of “Profit First”, was a guest on The How of Business podcast:

Episode 322: Mike Michalowicz – Fix This Next

You can find other episodes of The How of Business podcast, the best small business podcast, on our Archives page.


This episode of The How of Business podcast is sponsored by Stroke of Genius podcast show. Season 4 is now available! This season shares some of the most important stories in IP today, not just about the rules of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, but about the role IP has played in shaping our world and how our world has shaped IP. They chat with entrepreneurs and innovators who have used intellectual property protections to positively affect issues like COVID-19, food deserts, and everything in between. Join the Stroke of Genius as they dig deeper into the journeys of the world’s most influential difference-makers.

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